132 Guinea Pig of Love: Experiment #1, Tarot Card Reader

Julia Allison. Photo: Courtesy

“Clairvoyant… intuitive… accurate” reads the ellipsis-laden accolade on tarot card reader Jackie Turner’s website.

I’m meeting her on a mild November day at the behest of my ELLE editor. “It’ll be good for you…” Keith trails off, glancing down, but I know what he means: You need serious help, lady.

Jackie affirms this within minutes of my skittishly sitting down at the little table in Susina’s Bakery and Cafe. “You’ve got a lot of static,” she says, frowning at me. “A lot going on in your mind.”

How did she know? Since my last relationship ended in May, five months before visiting Jackie, I’ve worked myself into a frenzy over my lack of purported success in the realm of relationships. My mind spins over and over again: Why am I such a failure? Keith, who radiates an unflappable charm born of “having one’s life together,” sees the tarot card reader as a therapist of sorts, able to inject my life with an instant measure of calm.

“Future-telling as therapy” works like this: If I knew, for example, I would meet an amazing guy in four months, then wouldn’t I be able to chill out until then? And wouldn’t that chilled-out version of me be eminently more attractive to said amazing guy? So it’s a little like a positive feedback loop that ends up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“Interesting,” says Jackie, making a face as she looks at my cards—one of those faces you don’t want anyone to make when she’s about to tell you your future.

Jackie gives me a look, and I shut up. She points to the cards that indicate what I’m going through now, and I see “the Devil” staring at me. Awesome. She explains that “the Devil” card shows I have had some difficulties overcoming obstacles but that the real obstacle was my own mind. “You’re too hard on yourself, you obsess, you try to control,” clucked Jackie. “It feels like there’s a lot of chaos. When you’re not in the drama mode, you have such a good intuition. If you could let that behavior go, the intuition would shine through. With the goal you’re after—being in a relationship—the real obstacle for you is to overcome that inner turmoil.”

I try to deny it, but the realization slowly sinks over me: I do have a propensity toward drama. And it now occurs to me (duh) that it’s within my control to stop it.

So what happens then, Jackie? “There are new beginnings,” Jackie says. “Around the corner is so much better.” I breathe a sigh of relief. Not so fast, Jackie warns me. “The message for the future is that in order for you to get what you want, you have to overcome this inner chaos. Let’s say everything stays the same—there would be more upheaval.”

And yet, Jackie looks interested in one card in particular. A “King of Cups” card. I don’t know what the cups mean, but a king! “I see someone loving you in five to nine months.” Score!

But: “You’ll only get your King of Cups if you change your focus, calm the mind,” Jackie says. “The more still you can be, the better.”

Jackie rattles off a list of homework for me to complete:

1) Gratitude Journal: I must write at least seven items a day that I’m thankful for.

2) List of What You’ve Accomplished: Jackie tells me to be shameless with this, as no one will see it.

3) Vision Board: Keith is a huge proponent of the vision board, and he sells me on it when he describes making one for himself and then promptly getting exactly what he asked for.

After 90 minutes of tarot card reading, my mind feels calm. If therapy’s goal is to lead you out of fear, to give you the impetus and guidance to improve your life in a constructive manner and to provide you with solid actionable steps, then Jackie is as good as any therapist.

I make a beeline for the coconut macaroon and think about my King of Cups. Should I grab one for him, too, just in case?

Julia Allison stars in Bravo’s Miss Advised, which airs tonight at 10 pm EST.

Got questions for Julia? Ask them in the comments section below, and she’ll respond to each one here.

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